LeBron gets triple-double as Lakers thrash Pelicans
LOS ANGELES — LeBron James got plenty of attention this week for his comments about Anthony Davis, prompting allegations of tampering and ramping up speculation about the two superstars playing together for the Los Angeles Lakers.
It turns out James is also pretty good at playing with his current teammates.
James had 22 points, 14 assists and 12 rebounds, and the Lakers beat the New Orleans Pelicans 112-104 on Friday night.
“I’m a playmaker by nature, and nature kind of took over,” said James, who got his third triple-double in his first season with the Lakers and No. 76 for his career.
Kyle Kuzma had 23 points, and Ivica Zubac set season highs with 16 points and 11 rebounds, helping Los Angeles to its sixth consecutive home win.
Davis had 30 points and 20 rebounds for the Pelicans, who lost their third straight game. Julius Randle had 21 points in his first game back at Staples Center against the Lakers after playing four seasons with them, and Jrue Holiday had 18 points and 10 assists.
Davis and James shared the court for the first time since James recently declared in an interview with ESPN that it would be “amazing” if the Lakers traded for the Pelicans’ biggest star.
New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry said before the game that Davis will not be traded to the Lakers or anywhere else as long as he remains under contract to the Pelicans.
But James showed why players around the NBA might want to take him up on an invitation to join the Lakers by helping all five starters score in double figures. James had seven assists in the first quarter, his most in any quarter since joining the Lakers, and his infectious ball movement helped his new team get 20 assists on 27 made baskets in the first half.
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